Category: Cooking

Since my previous (poorly) cooking experience was a disaster with Kim Bap, I've enlisted culinary consultant Andrew Strauss to guide me in my next kitchen escapade.

Ken: "I want to cook spaghetti. Better."

Andrew: *nods approvingly to his plucky apprentice*

Here's the recipe we consulted.

Shopping time along with adding Andrew's produce selections.

I've cooked far less complicated spaghetti hundreds of times.

First part is prepping the produce. Onion time!

Continue cutting!

We're just one ingredient into the recipe, and fail begins!

I can't see! At all. This is when I begin to wonder out loud if early humans dismissed onions as inedible.

Let's smash some garlic!

Smashing garlic is fun and smells good. I wonder aloud how vampires can tolerate onions but not garlic. Celery, you're next!

Celery gets a vertical 3-part splay.

Then a normal slicing.

Those are some nicely cut celeries. Is “celeries” a word?

Ingredients should be cut uniform so they cook uniformly. I learned that from Top Chef, I think.

Carrots get asimilar treatment to the celery.

Next is bacon.

I don't think we're supposed to use the same cutting board, but it's all we got.

Crisp the bacon.

Wrap up the leftover bacon, but don’t fail with a grocery bag like I did. Andrew instructs me to use normal airtight plastic wrap.


Andrew shows off with by one-hand-toss-mixing the concoction.

Beef time.

While the beef cooks, we prep the rest of the vegetables and the herbs.

Begin prepping the other ingredients.

Beef is done! But lathered in animal fatty.

Drain the fat away.

Add the whole tomatoes.

Add the onions and bacon.

Strip the herbs Oregano and Basil of their hard steams. You want the leaves.

Add the herbs.

Finally, the carrots and celery.

This has to cook for an hour. A whole hour! It's all soupy and needs to congeal or something. But I'm hungry now! Where's my instant gratification?

Fast forward 50 minutes…

Noodle time!

Plate as appropriate.

Serve to hungry friends.

Result: Fed and happy friends.


As part of controlling my caloric intake, I eat sushi (almost the same kind and amount) most everyday. I've received multiple critiques that the sushi place (which shall remain nameless) is subpar – and then heard alternatives. One such is the Rice n Roll I ate at today:


I think it's called Kim Bap (which is phonetically spelled like 7 different ways on the internet) or "korean sushi" and it's certainly different, often with a yellow radish, but the same basic sushi structure.

That would normally be the end of the story, but today I went a step further. One of my favorite directors Robert Rodriguez included a quick-and-dirty filmed DVD extra of himself cooking a pork butt and repeated throughout: "Learn to cook because you eat everyday."

Well, Mr. Rodriguez, here goes nothing!

(Warning: What you are about to see is laden with FAIL.)

Here's a link to the recipe I used:

First is acquiring ingredients:

Not so hard. Shopping is a nice change (from not shopping):

I think I've rolled sushi exactly once before (remember, Shaun MacFarland?). Clean up some space, unload:

Let's get started! Nuke the rice (I just learned today this product exists):

That'll take 10 minutes. Take two eggs:

Break them:

And make an omelette:

FAIL – not buttering the pan with anything.

I did manage to turn pry up and turn the 'omelette' over.

Omelette done. Ding!

Oops, that took me so long that the rice is already done.

Next comes (what I didn't realize would be) a whole lotta cutting.

Carrot, you're first.


And your children, too!

OK. Next is my cucumber.

It was rotten on one end.

I worked 3 summers in a Wal*Mart produce department – I've professionally thrown away hundreds of rotten cucumbers. Skills, why do you deny me?

Victory! Next is the crab meat which basically pulls apart.

Almost ideal. Now it's time for scallions.

Ummm…yeah. I put a thousand of these up for sale…don't know how to prep one. I guess…

…and then…

Oops…sorry little scallion on the ground! You're no good anymore.

The recipe says to cut up the omelette, too.

That's weird. Well, here goes.

I guess it works! Laying it all out, it's a pretty smorgasbord!

Next comes seaweed. Yeah, sounds most unappetizing.

(Warning: FAIL imminent.)

Step 1 – Add rice.

Yeah, without exploding the bag open when tearing it. Luckily, I can just eat the mess.

Now add some ingredients.

Um…yeah. Not right. Let's use the incisors to fix that.

Better. Now roll…

…and…cut it?

FAIL. Can we salvage something here…

Nope. I have created FAIL Roll. I charge $5.00 each.

In the end, I only salvaged a little bit of food.

But I learned something. And knowing's half the battle.

The other half is winning!